BUTTE, Mont. -- Officials say oil and gas leasing on more than 20 square miles of land in Beaverhead and Madison counties has been deferred indefinitely.
The Montana Standard reports Bureau of Land Management Dillon Field Office Manager Cornelia Hudson said Monday that the agency received so many negative public comments last month on the proposed oil and gas leases that it deferred those parcels.
Hudson says the federal employee furlough caused by the partial federal government shutdown also contributed to the deferral.
She says the agency needs more time to go through the comments.
Other parcels amounting to more than 260 square miles in 15 counties in eastern Montana, plus one in South Dakota, are back up for a lease date of March 27.